By Helen Kirk / Environment / / 0 Comments

The Cleve Hill Solar Park proposal for Graveney Marshes is a prime example of why we need a change of government. Current energy production planning is turned over to profit-making businesses, there to serve shareholders, not the needs of the people of the UK.

Our government should be firmly in control of the process of deciding where, when and how we meet the energy production needs for our ever insatiable need for power, to run our lives the way we’ve become used to. Power for our fridge freezers, computer servers to manage our online lives and all the energy eating gadgets we’ve become used to make our lives that bit easier.

We should want a government, that will balance the impact of climate change energy production requires with our power needs, no easy task. But we need policies that will protect our landscapes, our ecology and environments, that is driven by consumers and not corporations who profit by offering the cheapest possible option at the expense of areas such as Graveney Marshes.

Current energy production planning simply does not look at all the options. As long as energy production is a free-market commodity, rather than exploring all options to find the best environmental solution, we will continue to see our landscape change beyond all recognition and faster than we anticipate with climate change now in urgent need of being addressed. The people of the UK need those in power making these decisions, in the case of Graveney Marshes, (the first proposal of its kind in Europe given the size and scale of the proposal – 1000 acres, bigger than the town of Faversham), it will be the Secretary of State having the final say. The people of the UK deserve to know that ALL options have been considered, that ALL alternatives are looked into before turning over England’s green and pleasant land to profit making, for the few, not the many, brownfield sites.

Where does this current planning end? When our countryside is covered is solar panels? Why is the current government cutting subsidies to those installing solar panels in their homes? Why is the solar panel market known as “solarcoaster” by the industry that saw growth halve in 2017 after government announced it was closing the feed-in scheme from April this year. What is the incentive for homeowners to spend hard-earned money feeding in to the national grid, for government and profit-making companies to reap the financial rewards. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

Stop the selling off of our country to corporate money-making machines, and let the people of this country benefit from green energy schemes that works for all our planet, not just the few.

 

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Canterbury students on Reclaim the Night march

Members of the Kent Labour Students and local Labour women’s network joined hundreds of people tonight on a night-time march around Canterbury as part of the Reclaim the Streets Campaign.

Reclaim the Night came to the UK 40 years ago, in 1977. One of the first marches took place in Leeds where women took to the streets to protest the police requesting women to stay at home after dark in response to the Yorkshire Ripper murders. Since then marches have been organised around the UK to show solidarity and support for rape and sexual assault survivors. This cause is particularly pertinent this year following the hugely successful #MeToo campaign on social media.

Canterbury is largely a safe city but in 2016 4 cases os rape or violent attacks were reported to police in the St Stephens ward alone with young students often most at risk.

 

Local activist Helen Kirk said, “the recent incidents of rape and sexual assault in Canterbury, diminish women’s sense of safety and security in our own city. Reclaim the Night is about giving women a voice to show our solidarity with survivors of rape and to reinforce that women shouldn’t and won’t be cowed by the actions of a minority. Telling women ‘not to go out’ is not the answer, the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are the ones who need moving off our streets, not half the populations of our cities”

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